Behind the PR Scenes: Hope for Strikes, Prepare for Gutterballs


“To hope for the best and prepare for the worst, is a trite but a good maxim.” – John Jay


When it comes to public relations, nothing is ever certain. PR professionals can plan, pitch, call, and secure media to attend a client’s event, but unpredictable elements are always looming. In PR, the firms who succeed – no matter what curve-balls are thrown their way – are the ones who have prepared backup plans.

On Monday January 28th, EZG’s client The Doug Flutie Jr., Foundation for Autism held their 10th Annual Flutie Bowl.  This is one of our favorite events to pitch to media since, between Doug Flutie playing the drums live with his band and A-list celebrity guests, the Flutie Bowl provides us with multiple story angles. Last year, I wrote a blog post about the “3 Key Elements to a Successful PR Event”, which focused on our media success with the Flutie Bowl. The 10th Annual Flutie Bowl was another media success, but for this year’s follow-up, EZG examines our preparation for the unpredictable factors that may present hurdles to smoothly executing media coverage.

In the wake of the New England Patriots’ heartbreaking AFC Championship loss a week before, we faced the challenge of keeping media interested in the Patriots story angle – Doug Flutie being a former Pats’ player. With the list of celebrity guests made up of Patriots and other New England pro sports alumni, our solution was to promote the nostalgia of attending an event filled with sports legends.  With just a day before the big event, we received confirmation that Patriots all-star Julian Edelman would be attending as a celebrity guest bowler. EZG immediately spread the word to the media and the frenzy of interview opportunities at the Bowl poured in.

The man of the hour was Doug Flutie, but if you were watching the pro-bowl, you knew Doug was thousands of miles away in Hawaii just one day prior to the Flutie Bowl. EZG had to prepare for the worst case scenario – what if he couldn’t get back in time? EZG was ready to execute plan B of having Foundation Executive Director Lisa Borges step in to give welcoming remarks, interviews, etc. All the pieces ended up coming together and Doug made it back to MA in time to bowl – phew!

The winter in New England is notorious for its unpredictable climate changes. The morning of the event, the forecast showed chance of snow. Unfortunately, the location of the Bowl was smack in the middle of hail, sleet, and snow. A couple of newscasters that we had secured to attend the Bowl were reassigned to cover the weather instead. EZG recognized that this could become a trend for other media, so we aggressively pursued our traditional media press list, while also leveraging social platforms like Twitter to ensure the remaining still attended the event that night.  Thankfully, local broadcast and print press were able to attend.

Overall the 10th Annual Flutie Bowl was a success due to EZG’s preparation for the best and worst scenarios. Public Relations pros are known for being able to think on their feet, analyze situations, and act quickly and efficiently in a manor unbeknownst to others.

Here’s a slide show of photos from the event:

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